E-1 & E-2 Visas

At Lisa E. Battan, P.C. we assist foreign business owners that want to conduct business in the United States. Our Boulder, Colorado, law firm serves clients seeking E-1 and E-2 treaty trader visas. For assistance in a business immigration matter, contact our Denver E-2 visa attorney.

E-2 Visas

An E-2 visa is for a non-U.S. citizen who will own and/or work at a company in the U.S. which is majority owned by nationals of the non-U.S. citizen's country. The person can work as an owner/operator or as a high level manager or person with special knowledge. If you wish to work at a company in the U.S. which you own, you can either purchase an existing business or you can start your own business.

In order to qualify for the E-2 visa, we must show there is a trade treaty between your country and the United States. Only nationals of certain countries can apply for E visas. If E visas are allowed for nationals of your country, we can proceed.

In order to file the application, we must show that the company has invested or will invest a substantial amount of money in the company. The exact amount of the investment is not stated in the law, but the law does require that a substantial amount of money be invested compared to the overall value of the company. Also, the company must employ other U.S. workers; the company cannot employ just the foreign national owner. If the company hires independent contractors, the government can take this into account when deciding whether to issue your E visa.

You must take some steps to start your business before we can start your immigration paper work. If you purchase an existing business, I will need copies of all the purchase documents.

When all the business documentation has been established, we will file the application with USCIS or we can file with the consulate in your home country. If we file in your home country, you will have to return to your home country to get your visa when it is approved, but you would have to file at the consulate at any point you wanted to leave the U.S. Doing the initial filing at the consulate will prevent you from paying for two filings (one with USCIS here and one with the consulate when you leave the country.)

You can reapply for your E-2 status as long as you continue to own and run your business. But E-2 status is not a way to obtain either permanent residence (commonly called a "green card") or citizenship in the U.S. If you want to seek E-2 immigration status as a foreign business investor or trader, contact our Colorado immigration lawyer.

E-1 Trade Treaty Visas

E-1 visas are similar to E-2 visas. However, the company must establish that it conducts substantial trade with the treaty country.